Trevor Immelman from South Africa led from the front under trying conditions to win his first major, the Masters played at Augusta National on Sunday. He shot a solid 75 in windy conditions while all around him were faltering, to lead Tiger home by 3 shots.
In doing so he denied Tiger Woods a shot at a calendar Grand Slam to follow up on his Tiger Slam of a few years ago. Tiger earlier reported that he felt that “winning all four major championships in 2008 was easily within reason.” However this statement has caused such media frenzy that he has since expressed regrets about making statements like this.
Trevor is the first player from the shores of South Africa to bring home the coveted green jacket since Gary Player won it 30 years ago. In recent years Ernie Els, Retief Goosen, Tim Clark and Rory Sabbatini have all come close, but have all had to be satisfied with the consolation prize.
“Here I am, after missing the cut last week, the Masters champion,” Immelman said. “It’s the craziest thing I’ve ever heard of.”
Trevor has been experiencing a roller-coaster ride with his health. Last year he suffered severe weight-loss due to an intestinal parasite, and struggled to regain lost form. He returned to form with a spectacular victory at the Nedbank Million Dollar at Sun City last year, only to have to undergo surgery a few days later to have a benign tumour removed. He must have entered the Masters with very little hope of achieving anything, having yet to regain any form.
Well done Trevor, we’re all so proud of you. You’ve held our flag high, and you’ve conducted yourself with dignity and grace.
Enjoy your jacket!